Health Systems Strengthening is critical to improving health care and services for people in all nations, and is especially important in low- and middle-income countries and areas experiencing or recovering from conflict and major natural disasters.
Country Spotlight Series
CCIH is producing a series of pieces exploring health in a number of countries and the faith-based health care landscape. In each country, we will spotlight a few FBOs and how they impact health care services in the country.
Bangladesh: Bangladesh has struggled to meet the need for qualified health workers in rural areas, as many health care providers remain concentrated in urban areas. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs) play an important role in reaching people in other areas with health services. Faith-based organizations LAMB and World Renew make substantial contributions to the health system in Bangladesh through their work in maternal and child health, family planning, nutrition, immunization, water and sanitation, and overall health systems strengthening.
India: With India’s public health expenditure around 1.15% of its Gross Domestic Product, there is an insufficient supply of publicly funded healthcare facilities and health professionals. Alongside the public sector, the private sector is responsible for over 70% of outpatient care and 60% of inpatient care. It is also estimated that 21% of individuals in India fall below the poverty line. Faith-based organizations are integral to meeting the needs of individuals who cannot access public healthcare due to poverty and lack of access in rural settings. The piece features the work of the Christian Medical Association of India, Emmanuel Hospital Association, Comprehensive Rural Health Project, and the Catholic Health Association of India.
Malawi: Faith-based organizations provide a significant amount of healthcare in many nations, including Malawi. The Christian Health Association of Malawi, the Evangelical Association of Malawi, LifeNet International, and World Renew are FBOs who contribute to the country’s health services in the areas of family planning, immunization, nutrition and WASH, as well as overall health systems strengthening.
Tanzania: FBOs are the largest providers of hospital services in Tanzania, owning 41.1% of hospitals, and the second largest provider of health services, owning 23.3% of total health infrastructure. This piece features the work of Mennonite Central Committee, Friends of Shirati and the Christian Social Services Commission and their contributions to the Tanzanian health system.
Uganda: The contributions of faith-based organizations in health care delivery in Uganda are significant. Here we feature three Christian organizations that deliver or support health services in Uganda, including the Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau, the largest network of faith-based health organizations in the country; LifeNet International which operates in Uganda; and HERE AM I Ministries.
Country Health System Reports
In addition to our blog-style Country Spotlight Series featured above, CCIH commissioned detailed reports on the health system, including the history of faith-based care, in two countries.
The report on the contribution of faith-based organizations on the health system in Nigeria was released in March 2021. See Nigeria Report
The report on the contribution of faith-based organizations on the health system in Liberia was released in April 2021. See Liberia Report
CCIH’s 30×30 Initiative
What Is It?
CCIH’s 30×30 initiative was announced at the Annual Conference in June 2019 and officially launched in April 2020. Through the initiative, CCIH members commit to improving access to quality health services. The 30×30 initiative brings global attention to the needs of faith-based health services that are vital parts of local health systems. This initiative seeks to increase access and utilization of quality health systems from trusted faith-based health services by raising awareness and encouraging partnerships, which in turn drive more funding, smart policies, and long term organization commitment. The 30×30 initiative features a commitment by CCIH members and affiliates. Together we will draw upon these commitments to tell the story of how strong faith-based services improves lives. For more about the initiative and to make a pledge visit the 30×30 Resource Page.
Working Group Issue Paper
Each of CCIH’s four thematic working groups (including Health System Strengthening) was invited to develop an “issues paper” to serve as an agenda for CCIH action. This is one of the four resulting papers. Working groups developed action plans based on these at the CCIH Annual Conference in June 2019. Suggestions and contributions are always welcome. See the paper
Contact Kathy Erb at kathy.erb (at) ccih.org with questions, or to join the Health Systems Strengthening Working Group.
CCIH HSS Mapping Workshops
CCIH hosted faith-based organizations based in Malawi and Kenya to discuss health systems strengthening from a faith perspective in April and May 2019. The goals of the meetings were to share and learn through an honest and open dialogue with other faith-based health organizations running health facilities and/or community programs regarding health systems successes and needs; develop concrete organizational profiles with HSS successes and needs that will be used to share with potential donors and partners (longer term); and seek or identify any geo-mapping or electronic lists/databases of health facilities, programs or related services, or initiatives to create those (longer term).
See the report from the workshop in Kenya and the report from the workshop in Malawi.
Donated Medical Equipment
See this resource for a listing of organizations that work in the area of donated medical equipment. They may service and repair donated equipment before it is sent to a hospital, clinic or other organization in need; offer match-making between entities who have a donation and those that have a need; and/or offer guidelines to help organizations maintain quality in donated equipment. It is very important to pay attention to guidelines on donated medical equipment, such as those from PQMD included with the listing.
General HSS Resources
Webinar: Global Health Financing: Changing Landscape and New Opportunities for Local Organizations | CCIH hosted this webinar on October 24, 2018. The funding and partnership landscape is changing, creating new opportunities – and challenges – for faith-based organizations. Both USAID and PEPFAR are placing increasing focus on in-country organizations and supporting efforts to build the capacity of local groups, resulting in stronger, more resilient and self-sufficient communities. New approaches to public-private partnerships, especially including corporate partners, are increasingly important in the global health financing landscape. This CCIH webinar featured Dianna Lightfoot, Advisor, USAID Bureau for Global Health and Priya Sharma, Senior Policy and Innovative Financing Advisor, USAID Bureau for Global Health. Jenelle Williams, Program Director, Global Health Action moderated the session.
Webinar: Building Resilient Heath Systems through Faith-based Organizations | CCIH partnered with IMA World Health to host a webinar on October 21, 2016 on Health Systems Strengthening featuring experts from Christian health networks in Africa. The speakers addressed how the faith-based organizations they work with partner with other FBOs and their governments to strengthen health systems, along with other issues, such as workforce retention. Speaking on the webinar were Tonny Tumwesigye, MD, MPH, Executive Director, Uganda Protestant Medical Bureau, Theresa Nyamupachitu, Senior Program Advisor for Health Systems Strengthening, IMA World Health and Peter Yeboah, Executive Director of the Christian Health Association of Ghana.
Health Systems Strengthening in MCSP Country Programs: A Review of MCSP’s Work to Strengthen | The Maternal Child Survival Program (MCSP) incorporates health systems strengthening (HSS) approaches to support programming along nine technical areas—family planning, maternal health, newborn health, child health, immunization, nutrition, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH). To understand the breadth of MCSP’s HSS work within country programs, the Health Systems Strengthening and Equity team conducted a comprehensive review of country program workplans active during the fourth program year (October 2017–September 2018), mapping activities to the HSS strategies identified in the 2017 USAID’s Acting on the Call report.
WHO Health System Pillars
The following resources are structured around the six pillars of a health system as described by the World Health Organization. Resources will be added to all categories.
1. Leadership and Governance
Leadership Tools from the Arukah Network | CCIH member, the Arukah Network offers tools to help strengthen Leadership, Communications, Healthcare and more. See the tools
Nonprofit Management Training from NonprofitReady. Its mission is to enable nonprofit professionals and volunteers to develop their career and do more good by providing high quality, relevant online learning resources at no cost.
2. Healthcare Financing
3. Healthcare Workforce
Because Health Workers Matter: They Need Our Support (Advocacy Tool) | Africa Christian Health Associations Platform and CapacityPlus/IntraHealth International | This document was developed by ACHAP’s Technical Working Group to help health facility leadership and faith-based organizations advocate for developing and implementing sound health workforce management policies investing in human resources information systems, addressing health worker attraction and retention, and monitoring and evaluating progress and results.
The WHO Surgical Safety Checklist has improved compliance with standards and decreased complications from surgery in eight pilot hospitals where it was evaluated. Complete the form to register your hospital or health care facility and implement the Safe Surgery Saves Lives Checklist.